tonight on "nightline." murder for hire. a teenager accused of trying to hire a man to kill his mother. a wife trying to have her husband killed. >> i didn't do anything. >> amid the rash of high profile cases, we look at the allure of murder for hire, for the few desperate enough to pay. plus, state, and defense. they are the ultimate power couple of u.s. foreign policy and they've formed an historical
alliance. we sit down with robert gates and hillary clinton for their first foreign joint interview. and mystery missile. the pentagon, air traffic control and norad are all stumped. what was that flying off the california coast and why can't anyone tell us. good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin tonight with crime. it sounds the the stuff of detective fiction but murder for hire continues to pop up on police blooders across the country. the intended victim. maybe a spouse, business associate or even a parent. what ignites experts saying amateur criminals behind the murder plots, apparently thinking they can't be held accountable if they themselves
don't pull the trigger. well, they've be wrong. john donvan has our report. >> murder for hire. some are still willing to pay for it. take the few and last few week, we have the sentencing the juan carlos cruz who tried to pay two homeless men to kill his wife. tmz had that story. >> what did he tell you to do once he went in? >> to strangle him. >> the aarrangement of a mother-in-law accused to hire an assassin to finish off her son-in-law. >> in march this woman goes on trial in florida. these conversations allegedly show her negotiating terms for her husband's murder and only a few weeks ago the arrest of a teenager matthew, for allegedly trying to buy a murder. just the other day he wrote home for the first time from jail >> this is the letter. >> his mom.
dana campbell raetd as loud to his two sisters. >> i hope you will somehow talk to me and maybe forgive me someday. >> there's no parenting manual to tell you how to process that. especially because one day an fbi agent dropped the dana's used car lot told her that the contract he allegedly tried to arrange was her. >> he asked to speak to me in private. he said i hate to be the one to inform you of this. but we've been notified there's been a contract put out on your life. >> contract out on your life. it sounds insane. >> over a long career with the fbi. brad garrett said he worked on many of these sorts of cases. >> believe believe in their naive state that they can step to somebody else, have them commit the murder. >> they think if that guy pulls the trigger i'm clear. only most of the time, wrong. as dahlia learned according to her regret, because the now
notorious scene where she is suppose lid hammering out the details. turns out the posed killer was actually an undercover cop making recordings for the boynton beach police department. >> what they do is go to a friend or associate for someone they knew. what happens the vast majority of time the person goes to law enforcement. >> they get rated out. >> the next is stage a false murder. depolito was called by police and given the false news that inside her husband lay dead, murdered. >> i'm sorried to tell you, ma'am, he's been killed. >> okay. ma'am. it's okay. >> no, no. >> and then they got depolito into an interrogation room. >> first let meal tell you, i'm sorry for your loss. >> she continues to speak as a shock widow. as far as she knows her husband is dead. >> why do they do that if she denies it.
do you want to see if she reacted or confessed? >> it's better if they admit. >> then they tell her the so-called killer is one of their men. >> undercover police officer. we found everything you did. recorded what you did. >> i didn't do anything. >> list ton me. you're going to jail. >> i didn't do anything. please, i didn't do anything. >> and they quote back what they have her saying on tape. >> you are a real good attorney, we'll show ut film, where you're 5,000% sure you want dead. finally they tell her that her husband is still alive. your husband is well and alive. >> can i see him? >> no, he doesn't want to see you. >> he doesn't want to see you. >> depolito goes on trial in march. she has enter aid plea of not guilty. so has matthew campbell whose mother in s in shock few of us can understand. the big question is why, for
money, hear house or business, she can't imagine that's worth killing for. >> only thing i can come up with. he feels since my home and porch is paid off. that it would be left to the kids and be divided three ways. my two girls think now, maybe, if my estate had been divided into thirds after i passed away. maybe he might have even considered killing them so he could have 100% of it all. >> there could well be family dynamics in play that outsiders aren't privy to. his sister never saw this coming. >> even if my mom is gone. he knows the two of us are still here. he's not going to get full financial gain out of what my mom owns. >> your mom said maybe the plan was to kill tu. >> it could be. if he thought he successfully eliminated one and got away it. >> we're talking about the whole idea your brother would kill
you, it just sounds so completely off the reservation. >> it does. it's so far-fetched. >> something else that sounds far-fetched. matthew's letter of apology and explanation. in it he said this was all some big complicated misunderstanding. >> i was so scared i didn't know what else to do. i thought i was dealing with a real hitman that wouldn't hesitate to do wig like in the movies. so i made a phony plan to get him away from me. >> there's just something in that that even his mother isn't buying. >> i do love him. i do. he's my son. and no matter what, i will always love him. >> do you trust him? >> at this point, no, no. i don't trust him at all. >> just as, let's go to the florida case one more time. >> didn't do anything. and didn't plot anything. >> dalia's husband didn't believe her when she got him on the phone from jail. >> you know more than anybody it's not trucht. >> you send me to get killed.
>> it's not true. how can you believe that? >> i heard your voice. >> i didn't do anything. >> doesn't matter, you can fire five [ bleep ] lawyers, they're charging your ass to have your voice, your face evidence on tape. >> i would be willing to predict she's use this cry, playing dumb role in other scenarios in her life. obviously it's not working here. >> end of the story. >> except for one more point. the price tag. the value of life snuffed out. the alleged money that dahlia was to play her hitman. $3,000 plus the cost of a gun. the number in play, in matthew's situation, 5,000 before the hit and 5,000 after the maybe you can buy a decent truck on the lot. >> when the value of life is cheap. john donvan reporting. when we come back they share the
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in many way, the strong alliance between secretary of the state hillary clinton and secretary of defense robert gates is a particularly surprising one. she a democrat and world famous politician. he a republican and once the head of the cia who shuns the spot she's occupied for much of her adult life. tonight in our exclusive interview they take and deflect as a team. >> andrews air force base, just before midnight on friday. secretary of defense, robert gates arrives. reminiscent of some sort of secret spy mission. >> how are you doing? >> hi, mr. secretary. cynthia mcfadden. >> this is a long flight, i hear. >> it's a long flight. >> in the next 80 hours we embark on the own mission
impossible h. travel to australia and travel back to the united states on her plane. for the next 20 hour, we'll live aboard the doomsday plane a cold war relic, so called because it can launch missiles and survive nuclear fallout. it say flying pentagon. gates has thrown 600,000 miles on the plane enough to get to the moon and sir come navigate the globe 12 times. >> why do this? you can do a teleconference? why is that important? >> because in our own government. personal relationships is what makes things work. >> sunday we arrive in melbourne, losing saturday entirely and sit down to talk with the ultimate power couple of the u.s. foreign policy. first time they've ever granted a joint interview abroad. >> i came over on your plane. came home on your plane. his is bigger. >> i'm not surprised. >> proportionate to the budget.
>> doomsday plan. it's like being fedexed around the world. >> did you get scanned and screened. >> historically, the secretary of state and secretary of defense have not exact been best buddies. fair to say? >> more than fair to say. >> which makes their powerful alliance even more notable. >> we didn't get the memo, about how we were supposed to be diametrically opposite on everything. >> i think the starting point is the secretary of defense acknowledging that the secretary of state is the principle spokesperson for american foreign policy. a lot of time in the past where i have seen this conflict, i think it's because the secretary of defense has been unwilling to sort of see this division of labor, within the government. >> so, what of the washington buzz that clinton would like gates' job when he resigns? when i confirmed to us he plans
to do within the next year. his budget of 500 million dollars dwarfs hers of $50 billion. >> any thoughts about who might do a good job at defense? >> we're hoping that that time line keeps moving further and further beyond. we came in together. we should go out together. that's my theory. p could she do your job? >> sure. >> well, yeah. >> no, no. wait a minute. it's not fair. first of all, we want bob to stay. i don't want him on national television, talking about somebody else doing his job. i find -- >> i will say this. i will say this. i think that one of the great strengths that hellry brings to the job as secretary of state is that of spokesperson in the united states all a round the world. that's not the role of secretary of defense. >> there's never been a woman sitting in the secretary of defense's position. and if the president asked you
to serve as secretary of defense? >> i have made it clear that i love the job that i have. >> if he asks you whether she could do t. >> you can't blame a girl for ask. you can't blame her for not exactly answering. when we come back, part two of the interview. will he step down. does she want his job? and the serious question, how safe are we. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping. shipping's a hassle. i'll go to the mall. hey. hi. you know, holiday shipping's easy with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. yea, i know. oh, you're good. good luck! priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.90 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. but not for your eyes.
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gates and secretary of state, hillary clinton have become formidable allies inside the obama white house. in a recent book, they were called to p, quote, blocks of granite, igniting president obama to send similar troops to afghanistan. we continue with the interview asking if they stand with that recommendation. >> so, how are we doing? because of a report that was leaked in october from the white house, indicated not so well. >> as i reported to the president when i came back from afghanistan a month or so ago. this is a struggle that unusually, the closer you are to the fight, the better it looks. >> there are so many americans who feel this is a hopeless cause. >> will, i know that some have that opinion. but certainly, what we're seeing on the ground, is that progress is being made. is it as fast as any of us want?
of course not. >> this isn't the real problem, pakistan. >> i think in the last 20 months, there has been a considerable change in their strategic calculation about what is in their own best interest. >> but isn't it a strange open duplicitous bizarre relationship. you go to congress and ask for $2 billion for the pakistani, and we know that in part, they are supporting al queda. >> well, they are not supporting al qaeda. >> they are certainly supporting taliban, and taliban is supporting al qaeda. >> that is changing. i cannot sit here and tell you that has changed but that is changing. >> if it doesn't change. would you recommend not giving $2 billion next year? >> we can't be impatient. we can't say, well, the headlines are bad. we're going home. we cannot do that. >> president obama has emphasized a potential drawdown of troops beginning july 2011.
secretaries gates and clinton seemed equally concerns with convincing allies we're committed. >> we will draw down our troop over a period of time. but we have every intention of being active and aggressively involved, and afghanistan, and also a long-term relationship with pakistan but convincing them that we mean that and we will deliver on that, is something we've been working at. >> even while he looks towards the long term in afghanistan, he tells me he intends to step down sometime next year. >> there is a lure in senior positions in washington. that makes you want to stay. and, i think it's important, and empowering. to be willing to leave. >> on the other hand, one could argue that there are very few people that can occupy the chair. >> well, you know the old french term, the cemeteries full of
indispensable men. >> i like your other one, today the peacock -- >> tomorrow a feather duster. >> gates is known to choke up when it comes to young troop es sends into battle. >>. >> i guess i can say i've had a very paternalistic view towards these men and women. i feel responsibility for you as if you were my own son or daughter. >> that's a lot of weight to care, mr. secretary. >> that's my job. >> gates said it's those young soldiers that keep him up at night which may extend the deep disappointment over stanley mcchrystal. the man he told president obama would turn the war in afghanistan around. the president turnedccrystal, last june after he bashed the administration in a rolling stone article. >> the thing that happened was unfortunate. tragedy in many ways.
>> do you understand why it happened? >> no, not really. >> did you talk to him? >> no. >> did you think the president did the right thing firing mcchrystal? >> and the truth of the matter is. general mcchrystal took responsibility for this on himself. he behaved, i thought, with extraordinary integrity. >> tough situation. >> very. welcome to washington. >> but to test the intrigue of wall policy ole tick, clinton understands it only too well. she has half a world aware in asia last week when the mid terms took place. >> what happened? >> the democrats really took a licking. >> i'm very, very sorry about that. i was very sad to see a lot of good people turned out of congress for doink the right thing. >> well, you lived through it. >> i did. 1994. >> lots of headlines about questioning, wondering whether or not president obama can pivot the way your husband was able
to. what do you think? can obama pull a clinton? >> well, i think he can show, clearly the leadership that the country expects from him, and which he's providing. >> your husband moved toward the midd middle. >> i think that's sort of the conventional wisdom. but i don't think that bill changed his principles, or changed his objectives, or reversed course in any way. i think what he did was take a very clear-eyed assessment of what was going to be possible with the congress after the election and moved on every front that i could to get things done and i think that's what you'll see president obama doing. >> two years ago, he wanted to be president. >> yes, i did. >> did you end up with the better job, you think? >> well, i ended up with a job that love. to a certain extent, i'm campaigning for america now. i'm using my political
experience to try to explain america in ways that somebody in i country far from us, who has never been there. can understand. >> up we go. >> nonstop campaigning for america. some 60 hours after our journey began, we visit tiny pago pago where even a midnight fueling stop is an opportunity to spread the gospel of american greatness. >> god bless your people. god bless the united states and god bless the future. >> perhaps that is what binds these two together, their corps core belief in american resill yan. >> i think we'll be fine. >> you do? >> i do. history's dust bin is litters with countries and powers that underestimated the united states and power of recovery. >> the enormity of the problems facing america at this moment -- >> right. >> how safe are we?
>> i want americans not to be governed by fear. you can step off a curb and get hit by a truck. we can't live like that. i run around the world talking to people in countries who can't get over the past. they can't move on. they are paralyzed. that's not us. and we need to act like the americans that are fearless, and focussed on building a better tomorrow. and we'll get there. >> you said, talk about the future, you said you're not running for president in 2012, or 2016 what about 2020? >> i think i'm going be the best secretary of state i can be, cynthia. thank you. >> was that necessarily a no? our trip halfway around the world with the sents of state a of and defense. what a weekend. first here's jimmy kimmel with what is coming up. >> jimmy. >> guillermo meets meta
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